Veneto, as part of the Republic of Venice, had been an independent state for more than a millennium, until 1797, when Napoleon conquered the area. It subsequently became part of Austria, before joining Italy in 1866.
The current independence vote is being organised by local independence parties, who want to use the results to support a bill calling for an official referendum on secession.
About two million out of four million registered voters are expected to take part, while the latest polls show that roughly 60 percent of residents are in favour of independence.
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